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2014 Farm Bill Agricultural Conservation Easement Program 2 FRPPGRP WRP Easements.

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Presentation on theme: "2014 Farm Bill Agricultural Conservation Easement Program 2 FRPPGRP WRP Easements."— Presentation transcript:

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2 2014 Farm Bill Agricultural Conservation Easement Program 2 FRPPGRP WRP Easements

3 ACEP ACEP has 2 components Agricultural Land Easement Component (ALE) Wetland Reserve Easement Component (WRE) 3

4 ACEP The purposes of ACEP include: Combine the purposes and coordinate the functions of the WRP, GRP, and FRPP. Restore, protect, and enhance wetland on eligible land. Protect the agricultural use, viability, and related conservation values of eligible land by limiting non- agricultural uses. Protect grazing uses and related conservation values by restoring and conserving eligible land. 4

5 ACEP ACEP funded at $400 million in fiscal year 2014, increasing to $500 million in fiscal year 2017, and reducing to $250 million in fiscal year While ACEP will require a new regulation for its implementation, there are few new statutory provisions when compared to GRP, FRPP and WRP. 5

6 ACEP-ALE – “The Working Lands Program” ALEs MUST permit a landowner to continue agricultural use. ALL ALEs must require the land be subject to an “Agricultural Land Easement Plan.” Secretary is allowed to contribute 75% of the FMV of an ALE in the case of “grassland of special environmental significance.” 6

7 ACEP-ALE The non-Federal contribution for the purchase of an agricultural land easement varies slightly from the 2008 FRPP. The non-Federal contribution must now be 50% of the Secretary’s contribution, instead of 25% of the purchase price. This will decrease the amount of landowner donation that can be attributed to the entity match. 7

8 2014 Farm Bill Wetland Reserve Easement Component Reduces ownership requirement from 7 years to 24 months Authorizes waiver process to allow enrollment of CRP land established to trees. 8 ACEP

9 Wetland Reserve Easements (WRE) NRCS will continue to Hold easements Keep WRP compensation and eligibility framework from the 2008 Farm Bill. Priority for enrollment continues to be based on value of the easement for protecting and enhancing habitat for migratory birds, wildlife and other uses. 9

10 Wetland Reserve Easements (WRE) Enrollment Options Permanent 30-year Easement 30 year contract to Indian Tribes Note WRE eliminates 10 year restoration cost-share only agreements. 10

11 2014 Farm Bill Partnerships 11 Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP)

12 RCPP is a new regional program that: Furthers the conservation, restoration, and sustainable use of soil, water, wildlife on a regional scale Encourages partners to cooperate with producers Provides assistance through: Partnership agreements Program contracts or easement agreements Combines and replaces the purposes and functions of: Agricultural Water Enhancement Program (AWEP) Chesapeake Bay Watershed Program (CBWP) Cooperative Conservation Partnership Initiative (CCPI) Great Lakes Basin Program for Erosion and Sediment Control 12 RCPP

13 Covered programs: – Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP) – Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) – Conservation Stewardship Program (CStP) – Healthy Forests Reserve Program (HFRP) 13 RCPP

14 Available Funding $100 Million of Direct RCPP funding each year 7% of funds from the four covered programs (ACEP, CStP, EQIP, HFRP) reserved annually through April 1st 14 RCPP Funding

15 RCPP will implement eligible activities on eligible land through: – Partnership agreements under which NRCS enters contracts and easement agreements with producers and landowners participating in a project with a selected partner; and – Conservation Program Contracts (CPCs) or easement agreements in— Critical conservation areas – Prairie Grassland; or In a selected partner project area but who are seeking to implement an eligible activity independent of a partner. 15 RCPP

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17 Funding Allocation – 25% for State Projects – 40% for National Projects – 35% for Projects in Critical Conservation Areas 17 RCPP

18 RCPP program contracts and easement agreements with producers are implemented through covered programs: – Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP) – Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) – Conservation Stewardship Program (CStP) – Healthy Forests Reserve Program (HFRP) 18 RCPP

19 RCPP Purposes are: To encourage partners to cooperate with producers in: – meeting or avoiding the need for national, State, and local natural resource regulatory requirements related to production on eligible land; and – implementing projects that will result in the installation and maintenance of eligible activities that affect multiple agricultural or nonindustrial private forest operations on a local, regional, State, or multistate basis To further the regional or watershed scale conservation, restoration and sustainable use of: – Soil – Water – Wildlife – Related natural resources 19 RCPP

20 Eligible Land includes: – Cropland – Grassland – Rangeland – Pastureland – Non-industrial private forest land – Other land incidental to agricultural production Wetlands, Buffers Etc. 20 RCPP

21 21 RCPP Critical Conservation Areas (continued) In addition to the covered programs, the authorities under the Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Act (PL- 566), other than Watershed Rehabilitation provisions, may be used in CCAs.

22 RCPP Partners are responsible for: –Contributing a significant portion of the overall costs –Conducting outreach and education to eligible producers for potential participation in the project –Acting on a landowner’s or producer’s behalf, if requested by the landowners or producer in applying for assistance –Leveraging financial or technical assistance provided by NRCS with additional funds to help achieve the project objectives. –Conducting and providing an assessment of the project costs and conservation effects 22

23 RCPP In these selected partner project areas, RCPP program assistance is delivered to producers through conservation program contracts and easement agreements under the covered programs. 23

24 Red River Basin Initiative Announcement forthcoming on a targeted effort within the basin. Secretary and Congressman Peterson to announce on July 2, Will target additional funding to assist with flood retention in partnership with RRRA. Will include funding for ACEP, EQIP, and CStP. 24

25 FOR MORE INFORMATION, VISIT 25 Questions may be submitted via to:


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